‘Fanatics’ sports merchandise antitrust suits spread to MLB

By Bryan Koenig (June 10, 2022, 6:05 p.m. EDT) – A sporting goods retailer has sued Major League Baseball and its major e-commerce partner, Fanatics, for allegedly blocking branded merchandise retailers from selling via Amazon and other third-party online marketplaces, expanding lawsuits targeting Fanatics’ alleged control of the marketplace from its origins in professional football.

Following further lawsuits alleging the National Football League and Fanatics Inc. entered into an exclusive agreement to sell officially licensed merchandise and boycotted other sellers who had previously purchased merchandise for resale in the marketplace in Amazon’s third-party line, Casey’s Distributing, based in Omaha, Nebraska. Inc. has hit MLB, its teams and its fanatics with a proposed class action lawsuit before the federal government in New York…

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